FINALLY!

Ken Hoffman finds a goldmine for every '80s Houston Wrestling fan

Jake the Snake/Instagram

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

I became a true Houstonian the first night I moved here from Phoenix. I pulled into a dump hotel on 610 near the Galleria, unhitched the 5-by-8 U-Haul packed with all my worldly possessions, and headed straight to the Sam Houston Coliseum for a night of Houston Wrestling.

The main event was the Sheepherders vs. the Fantastics in a tag-team cage match. It was love at first sight … of blood. I heard there was an expression in the south, if wrestlers wanted to see green (money), the promoter wanted to see red (blood). Who knows if that was true, probably isn't, doesn't matter.

Man, that was one wooly night. I grew up in the northeast, so the only wrestling I watched on TV was WWE (formerly WWF, formerly WWWF), and babyface stars like Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, and heels like Macho Man Randy Savage, Larry Zbyszko, and the Wild Samoans. But I knew all about Houston Wrestling and Friday nights at the Coliseum from wrestling magazines. I couldn't wait.

I am a wrestling fan. I loved it as a kid, still do, even though it's changed, not sure for the better. Early on in Houston, I got to know Paul Boesch, the legendary wrestling promoter.

Ken wrestles with Houston Wrestling

Quick story about the time he blew up in a rage at me. I had a friend who worked for WWE up in Connecticut. He called one day and said, "We just signed Jake the Snake Roberts and he starts with us in two weeks. Well, Snake was the local champion in Houston, and that meant he had to drop the title before he left for WWE. It's was the unwritten rule in wrestling, if the champion was leaving a promotion, he lost the title on his way out.

Not the smartest thing I've ever done, I wrote in my little column, "Jake the Snake will defend his title Friday night against Dirty Dick Slater, and you can bet the ranch that Roberts will lose … because he's joining WWE in two weeks."

Boesch was so incensed that I gave away the ending to his main event, he had Roberts win the match. I changed the course of history! Two days later, when the match aired on Channel 39 (now CWB39), there was Roberts celebrating his win and threatening me to keep my mouth shut. I was scared to death, sitting in my underwear, watching on TV.

Do a YouTube search for "Jake Roberts threatens me." It's there. You'll understand why I was so frightened. Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street had nothing on Snake Roberts.

I was hooked on Houston Wrestling, and Friday nights at the Coliseum became a ritual. But like many regional "territories," Boesh and Houston Wrestling was bought/forced out by Vince McMahon and WWE. Unlike other promotions, Boesch and his family (later lawyers) refused to sell the Houston Wrestling video library to McMahon.

For years, readers would ask, "How can I get tapes from Houston Wrestling? At long last, now.

Continue on CultureMap to learn how to get a DVD from Houston Wrestling.

Getty Images

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

Coming out of their first pay per view in their new weekly format, AEW came out resetting the stage. After the big betrayal of Cody Rhodes by MJF during the Jericho championship match there was still some great sizzle between all of these guys in the middle of the show as Jericho and MJF cut a great promo and then Cody Rhodes tried to run out there and get revenge but suffered the wrath of the Inner Circle and the numbers game overwhelmed. The crowd is in it with these guys and they have done a great job of signing talent that really grabs the energy and uses it. Moxley, the guy WWE had no business letting go, continues just burning up all the tape he gets recorded on and there is no doubt he is the guy that is a superstar regardless of who has belts and who doesn't. All you need is a ring and a microphone and Moxley is going to win over crowds and steal shows. I honestly have been massively impressed with the formula All Elite Wrestling has put together and while they are doing subtle differences like posting win/loss records and things of that nature they are really staying more true to wrestling than WWE feels in a lot of ways these days.

Survivor Series is already this weekend, making that Crown Jewel event seem even more poorly planned in the WWE calendar. Survivor Series has long been one of the iconic WWE events, alongside Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and Summer Slam. These have long been the main four and nowadays with all the crazy scheduling and over booking, Survivor Series got almost zero buildup coming out of Crown Jewel. There have only been three RAWs since the Saudi Arabia event and one of those continued the NXT takeover event, which at least did lend to the Survivor Series matches, and four Smackdowns but one of those is the NXT invasion episode because a contingent of the Fox roster had trouble getting out of Saudi Arabia on time. So with little fanfare and troubled writing, Survivor Series is here and honestly I'm struggling to muster the energy to care. There hasn't been consistent rhythm or momentum since the brand split and subsequent draft and perhaps their biggest splash was Fox bringing back CM Punk to the WWE Backstage show, where oddly enough he has no relationship with WWE. I'm curious if WWE is starting to think they have too many masters now.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office email me for details or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome